A three-part series According to the recollection of Matthew. For this segment, we will look at the second temptation of Christ. The position of Christ. His response during the time of temptation. The lesson we ought to learn today. Therein, we read; the devil took Him (Christ) up into the holy city, and sets Him on a pinnacle of the temple , And said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Matthew 4:5-6 The phrase, the devil took Him up into the holy city, is far from a mental state wherewith our Lord simply thought on these things. On the contrary, this was carried out in the physical, as His fasting previously was real, so was His temptation. A genuine love of God must be proven to withstand the test of time. So then, one might inquire, He is the Christ, why must the Devil take Him up? To better understand the situation is to look closely at the phrase “ taketh him up ” or took . In the Greek language, the phrase implies to the idea of one going along the side of another. Therefore, in no ways was Christ forced by the Devil against His will, nor was He mystically carried away without His consent. For He said, Satan has nothing in me. Though our Lord endures the tremendous pressure of this sinful world, but let us know, He endures that we may prevail. If we being humans are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 What more about Christ our Perfection? For in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Colossians 2:9 That is to say, in Him there is continuously and permanently at home all the fullness of absolute deity in bodily fashion. It was once said, He laid aside His deity, without losing the possession of His deity. He became like us, but without sinning, nor taking on our sinful nature that His righteousness may be imputed to us. This we know, temptation is not a sin, only when the wrongdoing of the temptation is embraced, then the temptation becomes sin. The more we know, in knowing the will of God for us, the less we stumble. In this, the Lord said, I must be about my Father’s business. Therein, nothing else matters, but the will of the Father to be carried out. He was taken to the temple, for in all good men dwells the desire to ascend to a virtual state of perfection with God. Nevertheless, the desire to do good, but without the awareness, and reverence of God, man is vulnerable to failure, wherewith they are deceived to achieve. Herein we learn, let us keep our eyes on the Lord, and not on the desire of our hearts, lest we be deceived by what we see. Like Christ, at the pinnacle of the temple, He saw the glory of the temple and all that it had to offer. All things He saw and more, were to be His, but only by the will of God. Thus, He replied, it is written again, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. He wasn't to be lifted up by religion, by the means of the pinnacle of the temple, but He was to be lifted up through the suffering on the Cross . For out of His suffering, comes the glory of God, unto all who would believe, and freely receive. Having received this revelation, beware, your temptation is lurking ahead. Therefore, keep your eyes on the Lord, lest you be deceived.
Today, as we observe the Thanksgiving holiday, may we be thankful for knowing our past, not to hold on to the past for a hindrance to the present, but rightly knowing who we are, will enable us as individual, and a collective to hold firmly to that which is dear to us. 399 years ago, on November of 1620, the Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact , this was the beginning of their Plymouth Colony, and what would grow and transform into the United States of America . Through many toils and dangers, they were presented with the opportunity to ease the many burdens through the gratification of the heart. Therein, the Pilgrims met with a native of the land, Squanto , of the Patuxet tribe. In spite of modern interpretations to mislead and divide, on the contrary Squanto became a teacher to the Pilgrims, and they became friends, working together and helping one another. Early founder Governor William Bradford described Squanto as a special instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation. With unity came content, and with the content of the heart, men will learn to be at peace in all situations by seeing the best thereof. Likely due to the Pilgrims account of their past and their encounters with the Jews of Europe, before voyaging to the New World, having arrived, the influence of the Jews was felt throughout the New World. One of such was the Thanksgiving proclamation of June 20, 1676 in Massachusetts , likely based on the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles , or (Sukkot) Now, the Pilgrims and the natives joined together in thankfulness to the Lord as they celebrate and feasted for days. This doesn’t sound like modern literature wherewith the white man is always at enmity with the natives. For such narrative is of one reason, to divide and destroy anything that is good about the United States of America. The Lord once said to those who followed after Him, the world shall hate you, because they hate Me. As individual and collectives, we do not claim perfection. So then, if we are aware of our shortcomings, let us be thankful for any victory, by the grace of God, attributing to His preservation for us. While learning from our mistakes and glorying in the new day, from where we were, to where we are now. To those we encounter like Squanto, and that which is to come. To all, God be the glory. Happy Thanksgiving Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Philippians 4:20)